CMS ENERGY: Consumers Energy Kicks Off Battery Storage Era At Western Michigan University

CMS Energy issued the following announcement on Sept. 17.

Battery Research Project Will Support the Company's Clean Energy Plan

Consumers Energy today ushered in a new technology on the campus of Western Michigan University, starting operation of a new large-scale battery that should store enough energy to power 1,000 homes at any time.

Western Michigan University president Ed Montgomery, local legislators and county commissioners joined Consumers Energy employees who worked on the project at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Western's campus.

The Parkview battery site was selected through a statewide search in consultation with Michigan State University (MSU). Over the next year, Consumers Energy and MSU consultants will study data generated at the new battery facility to better the potential for battery storage use around the state. Western Michigan University engineering students will also have opportunities to participate in partnerships with Consumers Energy on electric battery research and operations.

The 1 megawatt (MW) battery's output is about the amount of electricity used by approximately 1,000 residential electric customers in an hour. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, about 867 MW of utility-scale battery capacity exists in the United States based on technology similar to the Parkview battery. Large-scale batteries can support wind and solar plant electric production when declining winds and clouds reduce their output for short periods and could threaten their reliability.

"The foundation of all we do at Consumers Energy focuses on our Triple Bottom Line: people, the planet and Michigan's prosperity. We are excited to launch this project and see how it will provide future benefits for our customers as we continue to develop responsible and environmentally friendly electric generation and storage facilities," Sparks said.

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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